How do you get past the day to day discouragement and live your life?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Frazzledmom, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. Frazzledmom

    Frazzledmom Guest

    Hi, so we're working hard to make changes. husband and I are working with a good therapist and recently have been trying super hard not to "fall in the ditch" with difficult child once he's headed there. We are trying to take care of ourselves and to help easy child take care of himself. Today difficult child didn't go to school because it was Career Day and he thought it would be bothers me that he was very cavalier about it and doesn't even seem to have any qualms about not going. We have SO much to tackle. Drug use, boundaries, running away, consequences and every day it's something new. It all seems so very overwhelming. It seems like we walk on eggshells while we wait for the next drama of the day. I keep telling myself that we have to take things one step at a time but sometimes it's just so darn hard to let go of the life we thought we would have to accept this new one. It's so hard not to be immobilized by such a scarey and uncertain future. I'm so afraid that we won't get him the help that he needs...or that he'll never accept that help. It's so sad to lose hope. Guess I'm feeling sorry for myself at the moment and venting. Sorry for the whining but thanks for reading.
  2. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    It's perfectly normal to grieve the loss of the life you THOUGHT you were going to have as you accept the reality of what IS. You need to allow yourself the room to do that while you continue to take each day as it comes, one hour at a time if need be. There is no right or wrong about this and you cannot allow yourself to BLAME yourself for any of it. You WILL do the very best that you possibly can with the skill set you have, and as time goes by, you will learn new skills that will help you to meet the challenges that will inevitably follow.

    As for difficult child's specific issues, I would focus on the most absolute critical ones for now. So anything related to personal safety I think would be a good place to start: drug use/abuse would be my priority. Everything else could probably slide until you get that monkey under control. When you feel you've got a firm grasp of that situation, move on to running away. Next could be boundaries.

    For any of this to work, you also have to make sure you are working with an accurate diagnosis and that ANY issues that are best addressed and supported with medication are done so and quickly enough to get to a therapeutic level. Because otherwise, you may as well try to empty a swimming pool with a teaspon. Everything will be harder. Therapy would be another important component to piggyback with the correct diagnosis and medications.

    And then the final ingredient is time, and understanding that there is no specific time table for milestones to be achieved, just that you will be continually working towards X and eventually you will reach IT and all the other points beyond.

    You are on the right path so far -- so hang in there and keep coming here!
  3. When my son was about four, I realized he was going to be just like me and I cried. Life is not easy for the difficult child and certainly no cake for the difficult child's parents, either. It's hard to maintain perspective. It isn't going to be forever; it just seems like it sometimes.

    When I feel sorry for myself, I ask myself "Where's the piece of paper? That guarantee that I was going to have a happy life and happy children? Didn't I get one at birth? Oh. That's right. No papers. No guarantees." And then I remind myself that I live in the 21st century in the free world and that's better than kings lived a thousand years ago and I'm living a darned sight better than the majority of human beings in the world today. Sometimes I grit my teeth and tell myself over and over, "He didn't ask to be this way. No one would have picked this brain chemistry. This wasn't a choice he got to make." I also try to focus on the things that are good about difficult child.

    Another thing I do sometimes is tell myself, it's not getting through the next 8 years -- that's too much to think about. But can I get through a week? A day? An hour? I can put up with almost anything for an hour, if there's enough oxygen in the room. So I'll just make it through the hour. After that, I convince myself I can make it another hour. After all, I just did it, right? I can put up with almost anything for an hour! And so on.

    I'm trying to say there are dozens, maybe hundreds of ways, to get you through the day. This board is a great resource for finding new ones when your own don't work anymore. You're not alone and there are a lot of good things about your life, too. Good luck to you!
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Have I sat down and cried? Yep. Several times. Coming here helps. Reading helps. Reading in a nicely scented bubble bath helps. Small escapes that help me forget for a while. Music, sometimes sad stuff, sometimes hopeful stuff, depending how I feel.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    It sounds like you are on the right track. You can only do so much. Don't get upset with yourself for grieving - it is perfectly normal and natural as part of life iwth a difficult child. Adopted kids go through some challenges that other kids don't - regardless of how old they were when they were adopted. I don't know why, but even kids who are adopted at birth have that same hurt inside. I have heard this from many friends who were adopted or who adopted kids. One of my high school friends adopted twin boys from another country. She met the foster parents that cared for the boys for the first 18 months of their lives. She truly thought that they would not have those hurts because they attached well to the adopted parents and then to her and her husband and other kids. They are fairly well adjusted non-difficult children and still they have voiced enough to let her know that the hurt is still there deep inside. At their ages (early elementary school) they have not read or heard about it anywhere, they are speaking from their hearts.

    This may be one piece that your son needs to address and doesn't feel able or willing, or may not even know how to put it into words. Not ever therapist is able to handle adoption issues, so it may be that at some point this needs to be explored with a good therapist that he connects with.

    It is really scary to wonder if your child will allow you to parent him. I know that fear. My mother helped my oldest child reject our parenting completely. he was my heart and for the first 8 or 9 years we were incredibly close except for the wedge my mother inserted. I don't think she meant to do that at the time. In your case it is his pain and the lure of the drugs that are a big part of why he is rejecting your parenting - of course that is just a guess. Until the drugs are dealt with his brain chemistry will NEVER accept "normal" life. While you may only get him to stop using drugs by finding a way to convince him that properly prescribed psychiatric medications will help with the problems he is using drugs to self medicate. The big "catch" is that until he has the right medications he won't be able to get away from the symptoms he is self-treating with drugs - but until the illegal drugs are out of his system there is NO WAY to safely prescribe the right medications to treat him. The doctors that work with him MUST know what illegal drugs he is using (even if it is "just" OTC medications like cold medications (called "skittling" in many areas) or else they may rx medications that could interact in a very dangerous way.

    Sadly, at his age there is only so much you can do. I hope that you and your husband will attend narc anon or al anon, and take your easy child to alateen. Addiction is a family disease and is VERY contagious. Even those who are not addicted will acquire the behaviors and this can keep the addicted person from getting help. Having the family get help increases your difficult child's chance of successfully kicking his drug habit and staying clean - and increases it substantially. Don't pick just one meeting - go to as many as you can the first few weeks. This will help you find the meetings that you feel most comfortable in - and will increase your chances of sticking with it. Even if difficult child will not go to AA or Narcotics Anonymous, you, husband and easy child should go.

    I also strongly recommend the Love and Logic books - Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic is an amazingly helpful book for parents of difficult children. It can help with many of the things you are dealing with. L&L emphasizes using natural and logical consequences while strengthening the loving bond between parent and child. It also works very well - and is incredibly supportive of parents, in my opinion. You can learn more about L&L at their website - .

    Whatever you do, keep reading and posting here. We will be here when you need/want us and the group is always super supportive.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You wake up each morning, thankful for your opening eyes and feet on the floor, and just keep going.

    We all have things we do that give us the motivation and incentive to keep on going. During my difficult child's darkest times I kept telling myself that, as difficult as it was for me, it had to be worse for him. Dealing with those issues every single day couldn't be a walk in the park for him either. As often as I used to look at other mom's and wish I had it "that easy", he probably looked at other kids and wondered what was wrong with himself.

    It is easy to get overwhelmed during the frustrating moments and arguments.

    One of my methods is prayer. It's not something in everyone's belief arsenal, but thanking a higher power for my blessings every day reminds me of the gifts I do have. Prayers for strength have also been a lifeline.

    As another poster said, keep coming here and talking to us. Knowing you are not alone is HUGE!

  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    There have been many days were I am just so...I guess depressed would be the best word for it, over the life that I thought I was going to have as a parent, and the life as a parent that I actually live. And they are so vastly different. It's okay to cry and grieve for what you thought you were going to have. I have had MANY days where I felt like an absolute failure as a mom. But, when I started taking difficult child to see the therapist when he was 9, he told me that I was not a failure because I was willing to admit that my son had some problems that needed to be worked on, husband and I were willing to face them, and we have taken every step that we have ben asked to take in order to deal with them and get difficult child the help that he needed and still needs today. Does knowing that make it any easier? Some days yes, some days no. It's okay to have a bad day or two. I know that I had quite a few where the best I could manage for the day was getting the kids off to school and then becoming one with the couch watching "The Tudors" until it was time to get them from the bus stop.

    Do you have any hobbies? Try picking them up again if you have lost interest in them. It gives you something else to focus on. You and your husband can take a night and go out for dinner, without the kids if you can get a sitter to stay with them. It's necessary to get away from them for a while, even if it's just to run out to get coffee or something like that. A few minutes to be able to breath can do wonders. If you need to vent, then vent. I have done it many times, always to safe people who, even if they don't understand what we are going through, are supportive of us as parents. It helps to know that you have friends who you can trust.

  8. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I think gvcmom and sharon hit the nail on the head.

    it's a grieving process like anything else with stages.... you first are in denial, than you learn acceptance, than you grieve the loss of the life you thought you would have to be open to the life you do have and than you get active and reactive. its soo hard, it is. i remember years ago when i first got my difficult child's diagnosis there were so many i was just shocked in awe functioning was hard. it's years later do i still struggle yup you bet i do, and coming here is HuGE and helps. there is power and calm in numbers and in getting you arent' alone, in seeing how others do things and get by.

    i read this great quote one day it was about raising a special needs kid. they said you get on a plane to take a flight to let's say california, suddenly the plane changes routes and destinations, you are unaware of this. you get off the plane to find your in a strange country do not speak the language are overwhelmed and confused. you take your time, you learn the language you speak to the locals and those to teach you, and suddenly you wake up one day and look around and realize it may not be california you were hoping for yet this strange land you have now adapted to the language has it's own special and unique beauty.

    i have no clue if that helps....... lol yet i'll tell you i think of that on days like today for myself where i wanna run outta my house and rip my hair out or maybe just go have a margarita :)

    hang in there it sounds like you have things working out for you in all areas your concerned about your easy child also which is huge.